Why You Shouldn't Skip a Radon Test for Your Home

Posted on May 9, 2023

When buying or selling a home, inspections are an essential part of the process. They can identify potential problems, ensure that the property is safe, and give you peace of mind. One often-overlooked aspect of home inspections is radon testing. Despite its importance, many people skip this vital step, potentially putting themselves and their families at risk. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of radon testing and why you shouldn't skip it when inspecting your home.

Given the significant health risks associated with radon exposure, it is crucial to test your home for radon regularly. Unfortunately, many homeowners overlook this important step, either due to ignorance or a belief that their home is not at risk.

However, the truth is that radon can seep into any home, regardless of age, location, or construction type. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that nearly one in every 15 homes in the United States has elevated levels of radon.

By skipping a radon test for your home, you are putting your health and the health of your loved ones at risk. Long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer, with an estimated 21,000 deaths each year in the United States attributed to radon-related lung cancer.

The good news is that testing for radon is relatively easy and inexpensive. You can purchase a do-it-yourself radon test kit from a hardware store or hire a professional to perform the test for you. If elevated radon levels are detected, there are steps you can take to reduce the levels and protect your family.

What is Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It is produced by the decay of uranium found in soil, rock, and water. Radon gas can enter your home through cracks and gaps in your foundation, walls, and floors. Once inside, radon can accumulate and pose a serious health risk to you and your family.

Why is Radon Testing Important?

Health Risks

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, responsible for an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can significantly increase your risk of developing lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that all homes be tested for radon to protect the health and safety of occupants.

Radon is Undetectable

As mentioned earlier, radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it impossible to detect without proper testing. Skipping a radon test means you could be unknowingly living in a home with high levels of radon, putting you and your family at risk.

Required by Law in Some Areas

In some states and localities, radon testing is required by law when buying or selling a home. Even if it's not legally mandated in your area, it's still a wise decision to test for radon to ensure the safety of your home.

Protect Your Investment

A home is one of the most significant investments most people make in their lifetime. By conducting a radon test, you can ensure that your investment is safe and secure. If high radon levels are found, you can negotiate with the seller to address the issue or look for another property.

Increase Property Value

Homes with low radon levels or proper mitigation systems in place can be more attractive to potential buyers. By testing and addressing any radon issues, you can increase the value of your property and make it more appealing to future buyers.

How is Radon Testing Conducted?

There are two primary methods for testing radon levels in your home: short-term and long-term tests. Short-term tests typically take between 2-90 days and provide a quick snapshot of your home's radon levels. Long-term tests take over 90 days and give a more accurate representation of the average radon level in your home throughout the year.

Both types of tests are relatively simple and inexpensive. They involve placing a radon testing device in the lowest living area of your home, such as a basement or crawl space. After the testing period, the device is sent to a laboratory for analysis, and you will receive a report detailing the radon levels found in your home.

What to Do if High Radon Levels are Detected?

If your radon test reveals high levels of radon in your home, don't panic. There are several effective radon mitigation strategies that can be employed to reduce radon levels and protect your health. These include:

  1. Active Soil Depressurization (ASD) - This is the most common and effective radon mitigation technique. It involves installing a vent pipe and fan system that draws radon gas from the soil beneath your home and vents it outside, preventing it from entering your living space.
  2. Sealing Cracks and Openings - This method involves sealing any cracks, gaps, or openings in your home's foundation, walls, and floors to prevent radon gas from entering. While this method can be helpful, it is often not sufficient on its own and should be combined with other mitigation techniques.
  3. Crawl Space Ventilation - If your home has a crawl space, proper ventilation can help reduce radon levels. This can be achieved by installing a venting system to increase airflow and prevent radon gas from accumulating.
  4. House Pressurization - This method involves adjusting your home's ventilation system to create a slight positive pressure, which can prevent radon gas from entering your living space. However, this technique may not be suitable for all homes, and professional assistance is recommended.
  5. Water Treatment - If radon is entering your home through your water supply, there are water treatment solutions available, such as aeration or granular activated carbon (GAC) filters, to remove radon from your water.

It is crucial to work with a qualified radon mitigation professional who can assess your home and recommend the most effective solutions for reducing radon levels.


Skipping a radon test when inspecting your home can put your health and investment at risk. Radon is a dangerous, undetectable gas that can accumulate in your home, causing severe health issues such as lung cancer. Testing for radon is a relatively simple, inexpensive, and essential step in ensuring the safety and well-being of you and your family.

If you're in the Richmond area and need a reliable Home Inspector to perform a thorough inspection, including radon testing, look no further than Signature Home Inspections. We are committed to providing you with the information and peace of mind you need to make an informed decision about your property. Don't hesitate to reach out or get in touch with us at (859) 625-1434 or [email protected] to schedule your radon test and home inspection today. Protect your family and your investment by making sure your home is radon-free.

Contact Us

Get in Touch

To schedule an inspection or learn more about our services, please give us a call at (859) 625-1434, or fill out the contact form on our website. We are available seven days a week and look forward to working with you soon.